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Walcott out of the WC

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Arsenal's Theo Walcott will miss the World Cup after being ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury.

The England forward, 24, was injured during the 2-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

An Arsenal statement read: "Theo has sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.

"He will have surgery in the near future and is expected to be out for at least six months, thus missing the rest of the season and the World Cup."

Walcott's Arsenal team-mate Aaron Ramsey wrote on Twitter: "Gutted for Theo, he'll come back stronger after this. Been fantastic for us so far this season. Have a speedy recovery mate."

The World Cup starts on 12 June, with England's first match against Italy two days later.

Walcott has been capped 36 times by the Three Lions, scoring five goals, with England winning 27 of those matches, drawing seven and losing just twice.

However, he sat out the final two World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland because of injury, with Tottenham's Andros Townsend excelling in his absence on the right wing. The pair had been expected to be in direct competition for a starting place in Brazil under manager Roy Hodgson.

Walcott made his senior international debut as a substitute for Michael Owen in a friendly against Hungary on 30 May 2006, making him England's youngest ever player at 17 years and 75 days.

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